Truncation

Last Updated 06.25.02

General Description

Truncating Character Data

Truncation is the intentional removal of character data in order to shorten strings, making them fit in a given visual area in the UI. In general, the following principles describe truncation in the application design context:

The following sections of this Guideline specification address the BLAF Truncation standards. Click the links to jump to the rules and heuristic guidance for each section.

Guideline Attributes

Spec Version # - 3.1
Spec Contributors - Betsy Beier, Craig Louis
UI Models - all models
Example Products - all products
Related Guidelines - Common Formats, Language in UI, Locator Train

Interaction and Usage Specifications

General Principles

Overview

Valid Methods

There are two valid truncation methods:

  1. Truncation at end of String
  2. Truncation in Middle of String

Truncation is not allowed at the beginning of a string. That would inhibit readability and usability of functions such as column sort.

Truncation Algorithm

Data is truncated before it is rendered according to a specific algorithm, defined in the following points. For truncation examples, see the Design Rules & Visual Specifications section, later in this guideline.

  1. Total number of characters are stored with each item.
  2. End of String Truncation:
  3. Middle of String Truncation:

All characters are counted, including spaces and other horizontal area occupying symbols (i.e., underscores - "_", periods - ".", etc.). The truncation signifying ellipses () must be included in the count when calculating final truncated string lengths.

For truncation examples, see the Design Rules & Visual Specifications section, later in this guideline.

Usage Guidelines

Valid Truncation Usages

The following BLAF application components and elements are valid for truncation:

Standard Web Widgets

Used in cell of table, or as form element on transactional page:

Read-Only (Character Only) Data in Table Cells

These might include:

Shuttle/Reorder

Items within list boxes may be truncated as necessary.

Breadcrumb Links

Breadcrumb links are comprised of the links of previous pages in the application hierarchy, and a link representing the current viewable page. Because it is important for the hierarchy of visited pages to remain clear, truncation is not applied to the complete trail as a unit. If necessary, truncation may be applied to the invidiual breadcrumb links within the trail.

HGrid Breadcrumbs

Context Switcher

Contextual ObjectNames within the context switcher choice list may be truncated:

A link within an HGrid breadcrumb may be truncated:

Application Switcher

Application names in the application switcher choice list may be truncated:

Invalid Truncation Usages

Labels, Invalid for Truncation

Particular Types of Data in Standard Web Widgets, Invalid for Truncation

Specific Standard Web Widgets and BLAF Components or Elements, Invalid for Truncation

Design Rules & Visual Specifications

There are two valid truncation methods:

  1. Truncation at end of String
  2. Truncation in Middle of String

Truncation is not allowed at the beginning of a string. That would inhibit readability and usability of functions such as column sort.

Truncation At End Of String

Examples

Truncation At End Of String - Examples
Example Type Full String Truncation
File Name customization_template.psd customizat...
Meeting Name Robert's Weekly Budget Update Robert's W...
Customer Name Larry's Plumbing and Supplies Larry's Pl...
Expense Report Name DIS2002 Conference Trip DIS2002 Co...

Truncation In Middle Of String

Examples

Truncation In Middle Of String - Examples
Example Type Full String Truncation
File Name customization_template.psd customizat...mplate.psd
Meeting Name Robert's Weekly Budget Update Robert's W...get Update
Customer Name Larry's Plumbing and Supplies Larry's Pl...d Supplies
Expense Report Name GRAPHICS2002 Conference Trip GRAPHICS20...rence Trip
Asymmetric Truncations GRAPHICS Conference Trip Report Nov 2002
GRAPHICS Conference Trip Report Dec 2002
GRAPHICS Conference Trip Report Jan 2003

Nov 2002 GRAPHICS Conference Trip Report
Dec 2002 GRAPHICS Conference Trip Report
Jan 2003 GRAPHICS Conference Trip Report
GRAPH...Report Nov 2002
GRAPH...Report Dec 2002
GRAPH...Report Jan 2003

Nov 2002...Trip Report
Dec 2002...Trip Report
Jan 2003...Trip Report

A Note on Bubble Text (Tool Tips)

Bubble text should not be relied upon to identify truncated strings. The complete, expanded string should be made available through drill down or other local user action in the UI.

For controls/text that have truncation AND Bubble Text, the full text should appear on the Bubble Text. Even so, limitations should be placed on Bubble Text length to avoide HTML bloat. See the Language in UI guideline for advice on writing Bubble Text.

Note: Bubble text on links is NOT supported in Netscape 4.x

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